NS: VCLA job losses are possible

Wendy Elliott, Kings County News
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Canada Job Grant blamed for looming cuts

VCLA chairwoman Sueann Boates lent her voice to those in support of the valuable programs supported by VCLA. The Canada Job Grant is a good idea, but not at the expense of programs like VCLA.

[KENTVILLE, NS] – The Valley Community Learning Association (VCLA) might have to lay off two staff members and reduce the hours of six more due to the proposed implementation by the federal government of the Canada Jobs Grant.

Between 70 and 80 learners could lose the classes organized through the Kentville-based association, says executive director Peter Gillis.

For the past four years, VCLA has offered classes to allow the unemployed and underemployed to improve themselves by upgrading their education and skills. Its programs are funded through the Labour Market Agreement (LMA), created in the 2007 federal budget to “help provide training to those who need it, including underrepresented groups.”

The government is proposing to take 60 per cent of the LMA funding and move it to the Canada Jobs Grant, leaving the province with “a significantly reduced amount of funding for the most vulnerable of its citizens.”

While negotiations with Ottawa ended earlier this week, the province has not announced whether the vulnerable programs will receive funding.

Organizations: The Valley Community Learning Association

Geographic location: Ottawa

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